The first Norwegian coins were issued since the middle of the 11th century. Around 1100 the coins were gradually reduced in size, until they became the smallest bracteates in Medieval Europe. These bracteates were anonymous, making attribution to an issuer difficult. The output of coinage shows that the bracteates, if in circulation, could have been accessible to a large part of the population, for use in a wide range of situations. However, an analysis of the milieu and context of discovery indicates that these coins mostly were used for religious and social purposes, while purely economic use is difficult to confirm. The 12th century in Norway was a period of frequent changes in power, but also a time of an urban development, large-scale building activity and emergence of new social structures. In this paper I will discuss the different functions of coins and their significance in the Norwegian society during the 12th century.